The local produce sector within the Causeway Coast and Glens has the potential to be a significant tourism driver for the destination.
This was the key message emerging from an industry event organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s tourism team on Monday 12th November.
‘Meet the Maker’, which was held in the historic surroundings of Bushmills Distillery, provided an important networking opportunity for a range of producers and tourism businesses. Speakers included a knowledgeable panel of experts and influencers, including Rosemary Lightbody from Tourism NI, acclaimed chef Paula McIntyre MBE, Sharon Scott, co-ordinator of the Causeway Food Collaborative and Zack Gallagher from the Irish Food Guide who provided informative insight into their experiences and understanding.
The Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Trevor Clarke who also spoke at the event, explained: “Our focus is firmly on encouraging and cultivating the emerging relationship between our tourism industry and local food producers. Local produce has a significant role to play in enhancing the overall visitor experience across the Causeway Coast and Glens as it contributes to an authenticity which many visitors seek out. By working together we can ensure that the Causeway Coast and Glens is recognised as a superb foodie destination.”
The ‘Meet The Maker’ event took place during Taste Causeway, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s new nine-day food celebration which explores the delights of our unique speciality food and drink produce through a series of dynamic and exciting foodie experiences hosted by some of our finest restaurants, food producers and tours.
Destination Manager Kerrie McGonigle said: “The emergence of the local food and drink market within the Causeway Coast and Glens’ destination represents an unrivalled opportunity for our tourism sector and gives them a truly unique selling point. I would encourage all our providers to embrace our local produce which will contribute towards the ongoing development of our tourism product. We wanted to bring people together at our Meet The Maker event because building relationships and connections will serve to strengthen our overall position. I hope it has inspired our trade representatives to take an innovative approach to local produce and recognise how it can be an essential ingredient for success.”